Wearing masks during sports can be dangerous

Matt Davis, Guest Writer

People lately have been more cautious when it comes to sports because of the Corona Virus, however, there are still sports going on from the professional level, all the way down to the high school level. But what safety measures are being used for high schoolers? A vast majority of professional sports teams are using safety measures, both on and off the field, but can the same be said about high schools? Most of the high schools are using their own discretion about the safety of their students and staff, but not about the safety of other schools because the teams are allowed to not wear masks on the field. But not all students are safe, even with the masks on. Where should schools draw the line? It is understandable to see where schools are coming from wanting students to wear masks, but it can affect a student’s performance, health, and even their own safety.

The safety of students should be the school’s top priority, but while taking safety measures this year, it has affected many student’s performance. Some students wear glasses and play basketball or football.  During practices it is okay to use a mask, but if a student’s glasses fog up during a game while they are playing, it not only can cause accidental injury to the student with the glasses, but in my experience, it can cause injury to either teams. Some students are not into touching their eyes for contacts, or are fine with glasses. It makes the safety of other students at risk because of masks. I completely agree that during practices, students should wear masks so that they don’t risk the safety of their other teammates, but on the field, students need to see, as well as breath without restrictions. Wearing masks during games limits the safety that the schools try to keep for students and staff.

Wearing masks can also affect the health of students. A lot of students, one of my friends included, have asthma, making wearing masks while playing sports a difficult feat to accomplish. In my opinion, students with preexisting health conditions, not only should be a bit more cautious this year, but if they are on the field, they should take a bit more breaks if necessary, because if they get sick with something that isn’t COVID-19, the school will have to close down for a little bit because the school doesn’t know if it is COVID or not. While some teachers, coaches, fans, and players may disagree with this, you have to think about the flip side of things as well; would you rather be able to go to school and play sports, or would you rather be at home doing online school because someone got sick when they have preexisting health conditions. Coaches also have to think about if their players are getting enough air to breath while playing, because if they aren’t, then that could also be a one way trip to the hospital, and by definition, a closed school.

We also have safety, which I briefly talked about earlier. It is not safe to have a mask on because not only is it possible to injure yourself, but it is a possibility that you would injure your teammates or the other team’s players. If we were to not have masks on, we could play better, as well as see what is going on on and off the field. While this may bring up some controversy from the coaches because they are more concerned about ‘will my team make it to the playoffs’, but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t really matter. Think about it; if one person gets sick, then the whole team will be quarantined or worse, the sport will be canceled until it is safer. It can also be unsafe because the students and coaches will need to communicate with each other in order to use strategies and plans. If we have masks on, it can be harder to talk, thereby making it harder to communicate with each other.

Overall, students need to have masks on during practice or off the field, but not on the field, due to safety reasons, performance, and health conditions. It may be difficult for students and coaches to see that this needs to happen, but if everyone does their part, it would be safer for everyone, especially during times like this, what with COVID going around.